§ Mr. Christopher Chope (Christchurch)
I have pleasure in presenting two petitions, which I wholeheartedly support, from the users of community pharmacies in the Christchurch constituency. The first is signed by some 720 users of St. Ives pharmacy in High street, Ashley Heath—which, incidentally, is the shortest high street in the country. It states that the petitioners:Declare that the proposals of the Office of Fair Trading to allow unrestricted opening of pharmacies able to dispense NHS prescriptions would result in a decline in the availability and quality of local health care currently provided from community pharmacies.The petitioners request that the House of Commons urge the Government to reject these proposals by the Office of Fair Trading and promote the NHS pharmacy plan to encourage and support local community pharmacies.The second petition is in similar terms and is signed by some 1,420 users of other local pharmacies in my constituency, including the users of the Warren pharmacy at the Grove in west Christchurch, Moors pharmacy in West Moors and pharmacies serving Ferndown, Highcliffe and Somerford. All the petitioners will be disappointed that it seems that the period of uncertainty for community pharmacies is now to extend late into the summer, which is very regrettable.
§ To lie upon the Table.